Ecology And Climatic Requirements Of Palm Tree Plants :
palm tree plants ~ Temperature requirements for palm tree plants are simple and straight forward. High temperatures are favorable with as less possible fluctuations. Below 18° C growth is stopped. The optimal daily temperature is 27-28° C, with mean monthly values between 30-32° C maximum and 21-24° C minimum. The mean minimum temperature of the coldest month should be > 18° C. Seedling growth is arrested at temperatures < 15° C.
Temperature, rain, humidity, light and wind are the most important climatic factors which determine the suitability of a specific site for growing palm tree plant.
Soil suitability : Deep, well drained, fertile fine sandy to clay loams
Optimum soil pH : 4 to 6
Organic carbon : 1.2 to 1.5
Soil bulk density : 1.0 to 1.4
Palm Tree Plants – Varieties of palm Nut Tree:
- dura palms have kernels with a thick shell
- pisifera palms have kernels with no shell
- tenera palms have kernels with a thin shell
There are 3 oil palm varieties: Dura, Pisifera and Tenera, with the latter being mainly selected for economic production.
The oil is concentrated in the fruit bunches, composed of a fresh fruit pulp, and in the fruit kernels. Oil content in the fruit pulp is about 50-60% or 20-22% of bunch weight; oil content in the fruit
Palm Tree Plants – Site Selection For Palm Nut Tree:
The palm tree plants grows well where it is hot all the year round: between 25 and 28 degrees C.
If the temperature drops, the palm tree plants produces fewer leaves and is more often attacked by diseases at a hot temperature enable the palm nut tree to make many leaves and to produce many clusters
Also, Where there is a lot of sunshine, there will be strong photosynthesis, within the oil palm
The palm tree plants leaves grow large, the fruit ripens well, and there is more oil in the fruits.
If it does not rain much, or if it does not rain for several months, the leaves do not grow well.
If there are few new leaves, there are few flowers and few clusters of fruit.
There is less yield. If the soil is not flat, transport is difficult and costs a lot.
Erosion is severe; the water carries away the earth.
The roots of palm tree plants cannot develop oil if they meet a hard layer.
They cannot take up water and mineral salts that are deep down.
If the palm tree plants does not have enough water, yields are low. The palm tree plants does not grow well if water remains around its roots for too long.
In order to produce many large clusters of fruit, the palm tree plants needs a lot of mineral salts.
If the soil is poor, mineral salts can be added by applying fertilizers.
The area selected for the establishment of the palm tree plantation can influence the cost of land preparation to the extent that it may not be viable to proceed with the development at all. Our aim is to highlight the critical areas to be considered when selecting the land for the establishment of a new palm nut tree plantation.
Availability of water
Although not always realized, the palm nut tree requires rather large quantity of water for sustainable growth. Critical factors regarding water for irrigation purposes are:
(i) the sustainability of the water source,
(ii) the quantity of water available for irrigation,
(iii) the distance to the field, and
(iv) the quality of the water.
In time palm trees grow very tall and become top heavy especially during the fruit bearing stage. They therefore need sufficient room for proper root development to support the palms. Besides the importance of root development, soil depth also influences drainage and leaching possibilities. Any obstructive layers must be evaluated to determine whether they will influence root development and whether they can be corrected.
Palm nut trees can grow and produce in different types of soil in both hot arid and semi-arid regions. Adaptation could go from a very sandy to a heavy clay soil.
The soil quality is related to its drainage capacity mainly when soils are salty or the irrigation water is characterised with a high salt content. Sandy soils are common in most palm tree plantations of the old world. Rare cases of clay soils with drainage systems are found allowing the culture of palm nut tree. The optimum soil conditions are found where water can penetrate to at least 2 m deep.
When evaluating the soil quality, attention must be given to:
(i) the soil texture which will influence the water retention capacity, and
before planting your palm tree plants , you have to clear the forest and remove the tree stumps.
Then it takes a lot of time to sow the cover crop, dig holes in the plantation,take the seedlings
out of the nursery, carry them to the plantation and plant them
Seed Treatments Of Palm Nut Tree:
With most palms, propagation from seed is not difficult as long as a few basic requirements are met. Among the most important are fresh seed, good sanitation, proper medium, and adequate heat. Each of these points will be discussed separately, although they are inter-related.
Fresh Seed Of Palm Nut Tree:
The fresher the seeds are, the better the results will be . To check the freshness of your seeds, cut open a sample seed and inspect the endosperm and embryo.
The embryo should be fresh, firm, and not discolored. If the interior of the seed is rotten or has an unpleasant odor, it is unlikely to germinate.
The endosperm is of two types, homogeneous or ruminate, and may be hard, oily, or even hollow.
If the inside of a homogeneous seed is off-color, such as brown or gray, or if it smells bad, the seed is old or was harvested before maturity. Such seeds are also unlikely to germinate. In a ruminate seed, the seed coat is infolded, creating dark, tangled streaks in the endosperm.
Removing the Fruit Pulp Of Nut Tree:
The fleshy or fibrous fruit pulp frequently contains growth inhibitors. Removing it before planting will improve results. Methods for doing this vary with the quantity and type of seeds, but most begin with a preliminary 48-72-hour soak in water.
Soaking causes the pulp to ferment, which weakens it for easier removal. Change the water daily during the soak. Fruit that is slightly immature should be placed in a tightly closed plastic bag and kept in a warm spot for a week or so. This promotes ripening and softens the outer flesh for cleaning. Sometimes the seeds need to be soaked further to soften the pulp, sometimes
There are several ways to remove the seed coat. With small quantities of seeds, simply rub them by hand against a fine-meshed screen and wash away the pulp with water.
Another way that works well with small amounts of seed is to shake them by hand in a closed container with water and small, rough-edged rocks. Pour off the water and pulp occasionally, add more water and shake again, until the seeds are completely clean.
Seeds can also be cleaned with a knife or other sharp tool, but this is slow and a little dangerous.
Motorized cleaning devices make the job easier and are a necessity for commercial operations.
For smaller quantities, use a rock tumbler.Put rocks and water inside with the seeds. Larger seed-cleaning machines can be purchased or fabricate
Damaging insects such as seed-boring beetles may arrive with seeds.
They may reduce germination and spread to other seed batches. To minimize these risks, seeds collected from the ground, whether in the wild or from cultivated plants, and seeds collected under unknown conditions should be soaked in a contact insecticide solution once the fruit pulp has been removed.
The insecticide solution should be prepared at the same concentration you would use to spray for pests.
Soak small, thinner-shelled seed, such as Pinanga, for 15 minutes. Soak larger, harder and less permeable seeds longer, from 20 to 45 minutes.
Examples of these latter seeds are Mauritia flexuosa, Bismarckia nobilis, Parajubaea cocoides, and Jubaea child. After the insecticide soak, rinse the seeds in clean water for 20 minutes.
01. Selection of the Nursery Site
Proposed land should be flat and low gradient. Soil should be well drain sandy or sandy loam soil. Adequate amount of sunlight, scattered shade and also water source in close proximity are fundamental factors in selecting the land. Uniform level of shade can be provided by establishing a Gliricidia fence.
02. Nursery Beds.
Width of the nursery should be decided based on the feasibility of management practices including routine activities. Length of the nursery can be determined by the length and shape of the lands. It is feasible to have 5 seedling layers per one bed.
Seed nuts should be laid vertically in a pre nursery until they produce a sprout and transfer to poly bag.
Regular application of water is compulsory under dry weather conditions. Watering is necessary if there is no rain continuously for about 6 days, watering should be done at least once in four days
Weeding helps in moisture conservation of the seed bed and reduce the impact on seedbeds. Therefore it is essential to practice weeding once a month or twice corresponding with the prevailing weather conditions.
Transplanting Of Palm Nut Tree:
It is important to know about the life of the oil palm.
If you know all about the life of the oil palm, you will understand better how to cultivate them.
If you do not take care of the seeds, they will germinate only after several years.
At the research stations, the seeds are kept in a room where it is always very hot.
This makes the seeds germinate sooner, after 90 to 100 days.
Each seed germinated is planted in a small plastic container.
A new leaf grows every month.
The young seedling stays in the container for 4 to 5 months.
When you see a left with two points (bifid leaf) coming up, transplant the seedling out into the nursery.
The seedling stays in the nursery for 1 year. When it has about 15 green leaves, it is planted in the palm grove.
The seedling is therefore 16 to 18 months old when it is ready to be planted in the palm grove.
Planting Of Palm Nut Tree:
Prepare planting lines and excavate planting holes with vertical sides.
Mix top soil with P fertilizer, organic manure and replace it in the base of the hole. Cut the poly bag and place the palm upright in the hole without disturbing soil and root mass, also fill the hole with soil and firmly consolidate around the seedling, supporting it with stake. Rainy or winter season or year-round under assured irrigation water supply
Triangular planting adopting 9 m x 9 m x 9 m spacing to achieve a plant density of 143 palms/ha
Palm Tree Plants – Irrigation
Immediately after transplanting, the palm should be irrigated to limit transplant stress. Once the plantation is established, a frequent irrigation schedule is to be followed to allow sufficient water supply to the young palm tree plants.
The irrigation frequency, is soil type dependant, but on very sandy soils it requires daily irrigation during the first summer. Heavy soils will require irrigation once a week, while in most soils, irrigation is required every second or third day. During the first six weeks, the palm nut tree growers should inspect their planted palms trees to verify that the surface soil does not dry and shrink away from the plant.
Fertilizing Application of Palm Tree Plants
When using a palm tree fertilizer for your landscape you need to be able to calculate how much to use.
Sprinkle the correct amount of quality palm tree fertilizer equally around the base of the tree, from trunk out to the drip line.
NOTE: Don’t use your turf or grass product inside the drip line area. They are generally slow release of nitrogen only and fast release everything else. It could potentially kill your palm.
You don’t have to worry about applying the palm product to the grass or garden under the drip line. It will not damage or burn other plants.Best times of the year for fertilizing is once first thing in the spring, once again mid-summer and lastly the beginning of fall.
An example would be March-July-Sept. I’ll say this too- the good quality slow release brands will last on average 2 months or so.
Remember it is water soluble so if it’s a particularly wet rainy spring you may want to bump up your mid-summer application a bit to the end of June.
Circle and path weeding every two months; selective weeding and creeper and vine removal every six months.
Root rot :
Root rots in palms are most often caused by anaerobic soil conditions. There are however pathogens that can take advantage of slow growing palms.
Some palms show resistance to their biotic pathogens and to conditions which cause abiotic disease, but all palms are susceptible to mismanagement of water, the extremes of pruning and poor planting practices.
Basal stem rot (BSR), caused by the fungus Ganoderma, is the most serious disease of oil palm in Malaysia and Indonesia. It also causes serious problems to the distribution of water and other nutrients to the top of the palm
Harvesting Of Palm Nut Tree:
This is a mature palm plantation that’s reaching end of life. Oil palms are able to produce fruit for harvest within 4 to 6 years of planting, if fertilized well.
Life expectancy is 28 to 30 years on average, at which point they are usually 40 feet / 12 metres high and it becomes too hard to harvest the heavy fruit bundles using extension poles. The palms are injected with pesticide, which kills the tree from within, and eventually they get bulldozed in order to make room for new oil palms.
Palm Tree Plants – Storage Of Oil Palm:
In large-scale mills the purified and dried oil is transferred to a tank for storage prior to dispatch from the mill.Since the rate of oxidation of the oil increases with the temperature of storage the oil is normally maintained around 50°C, using hot water or low-pressure steam-heating coils, to prevent solidification and fractionation
Iron contamination from the storage tank may occur if the tank is not lined with a suitable protective coating, Small-scale mills simply pack the dried oil in used petroleum oil drums or plastic drums and also store the drums at ambient temperature.